Regional

Abu Dhabi to buy 30 percent of Domestic & General

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, file photo, the sun rises over the skyline in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund agreed to buy about a 30 percent stake in Domestic & General Group Ltd., the U.K. appliance warranty provider owned by CVC Capital Partners. The deal with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is expected to close by year-end, Domestic & General said in an emailed statement Wednesday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. It didn’t disclose financial terms.

The transaction values Domestic & General, which is used by one-third of U.K. households, at just over 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

CVC opted for a deal with ADIA, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, instead of an initial public offering of the business due to market uncertainty, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Sovereign wealth funds have been stepping up direct investments as they seek to generate returns in a low interest rate environment. ADIA has teamed up with EQT Partners in its pursuit of Nestle SA’s $10 billion skincare business.

The fund was also planning to buy out Vornado Realty Trust’s 25 percent stake in a Manhattan office tower, a person familiar with the matter said in June.

ADIA doesn’t divulge its assets under management, but it has been estimated to have about $696 billion. That makes it the third-largest in the world, according to data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Domestic & General has about 16 million customers globally, with a presence in 11 countries including the U.K., Spain, Germany, France and Australia, according to the statement.

CVC first invested in Domestic & General, which has about 2,000 employees in the U.K., in 2013.

Since then, it has increased annual revenue from 633 million pounds to more than 810 million pounds, according to the statement issued earlier Wednesday.

The buyout firm will transfer its remaining 70 percent holding in the business to Fund VII, which it raised in 2017, the statement shows.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 11, 2019, on page 4.

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